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  • Deb Puretz

Covid Art 99: A postcard from the Mediterranean Sea


Are you curious about what is on the other side of this postcard? Another family member from my albums but I don’t remember which one. I thought I’d mark the passage of time (and locations) with this. The brown edge is the remnants of the page on which it was glued.

Rachel Naomi Rebben says that life is stories. Facts is science but stories tell us what we cannot prove with science. So here, with this un-auspicious and unassuming little post card, is the end of the story about love, birth, death, friendship, art and music, religion, awe of nature and the human life force. Threaded throughout this work are the elements of art that I created through pattern recognition (colors, textures, merging edges of both) and a deep respect for ‘original’ matter: photographs that might hold the scent, dust, DNA of the human who is is the subject. They used to be called memes but now that word has a different primary meeting.

Many of the photographs I took out of albums were in fact designed to be sent through the post just like this one. An administrative postmark was stamped since the public postmark was not yet in use: ‘Esposizione Marina Igiene Colonie / Genova Ferrvia’ datestamps, is all I found on the Internet. I cannot make out a date on the stamp.

In 1988, I took a class on prints at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum’s Achenbach Collection of prints and drawings. Sitting around a large table, we moved along an easel that held an original Rembrandt, Albrecht Durer, Matisse. I was struck by the serendipity of what is saved and what is destroyed in fire, by insects, mold, or carelessness. I’ve saved several images from the trash bin in this collage.

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